Better access to social care
The release of the Government's Mid-Term Review tell us about proposals in health and social care for the next two year. Any good for your sector? Sarah Kean-Price summarises:
11th January 2013
On the 7th of January, our current Government released their Mid-Term Review, detailing their understanding of their current achievements and plans for improvement during the rest of their term. By the next general election in 2015, they intend to have taken further action in 5 areas - resources; training; health screening; patient services; and administration, management and legislation.
We’ve pulled apart the health care section to provide you with a simple report on what to expect in health and social care over the next two years.
- To have invested a portion of £300million into specialised housing for those who need care; £100million to improve technologies for patient care and patient details; and £56million across 4 years into child and young people’s mental health problems – the last spurred by the Winterbourne incidents.
- To have an established Dementia Friends scheme to improve GP monitoring and public awareness of dementia.
- To have introduced a Universal Deferred Payments system so that you don’t have to sell your house to get residential care.
- To have introduced a new bowel screening programme with a view to reducing yearly bowel cancer deaths by 3,000.
- To have improved access and waiting times for mental health issues and better screening for post-natal depression so as to ‘put mental health on a par with physical health’.
- To have introduced a doctor revalidation process to check training is up to date and that their practice is fit for purpose.
- To have improved on the culture of compassionate care given by nurses, midwifes and care staff.
- To have developed a Friends and Family Test for patients and staff to review care received at a particular hospital.
- To have established the 111 service to give people immediate health care service access over the phone.
- To have gradually increased the availability of personal health budgets.
- To get consultation on ‘further measures’ for those who are failed by their provider.
- To have set up Healthwatch; a consumer advocate for patients.
- To have removed PCTs and SHAs from April 2013 on. Trusts and CCGs will no longer be voluntary but mandatory.
- To have developed ‘health and well-being boards’ to better co-ordinate local authorities and the NHS’s relationship that take on statutory functioning from April 2013. These boards should consist of one elected local rep., one person from Healthwatch, one person from the area’s CCG and the directors for the area’s adult social services, children’s services and public health. If boards wish, they can include members from relevant charity and voluntary organisations.
- To have brought in legislation so that those entitled to care get a personal budget and care plan. The idea is that service users will either be able to direct the NHS how to spend their money, have a charity manage it for them with their input or direct payments managed by the individual. If your service users would like an Easy to Read leaflet to explain the changes, you can download one here.
- To have developed a national minimum eligibility threshold to stop ‘post-code lotteries’ in access to care. Carers will also benefit from a continued eligibility.
- To have increased the health budget in real terms. If you don’t know, ‘real terms’ means ‘after you have taken things like inflation into account’. This means that the government are claiming they’ve will have raised the health budget and that, even though everything costs more, the health budget will have accounted for that with more on top.
Administration, management and legislation